Details: Entry-level model from Beyer’s recently-refreshed IEM line
MSRP: $79 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $50 from adorama.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 12Ω | Sens: 104 dB | Freq: 20-22k Hz | Cable: 3.9’ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear
Accessories (3/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes) and zippered soft carrying case
Build Quality (4/5) – The housings of the DTX 71 are all-plastic but the molding quality is very good. Strain reliefs are fully integrated and the rubbery cable is sturdy and fairly flexible. The 3.5mm L-plug and y-split are both very well-relieved
Isolation (3/5) – Good for a straight-barrel dynamic
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Bothersome when worn cable-down; nearly nonexistent otherwise
Comfort (4/5) – The DTX 71 is a lightweight straight-barrel in-ear and doesn’t require particularly deep insertion to sound its best. As a result it remains quite comfortable even for lengthy listening sessions
Sound (7.2/10) – The sound of the DTX 71 is mainstream in nature but quite good on a technical level and pleasant overall. The balance is skewed slightly towards the low end, with weighty and impactful bass that is nevertheless not quite as prominent as with the higher-end DTX 101. Bass depth is impressive and control is retained for the most part. If anything, the low end of the DTX 71 actually does a better job of staying out of the way than that of the DTX 101, appearing only slightly boomy next to tight-and-fast dynamics such as the RE-ZERO and Sunrise Xcited. While clearly not intended for analytical listeners, the DTX 71 manages to draw as much attention to the sub-bass than the mid-bass, which helps the midrange stay veil-free.
The midrange of the DTX 71 is slightly forward, falling just short of the low end in relative emphasis. The mids of the similarly-priced Xears TD-III are slightly more prominent while those of the Xears Resonance are more recessed. Clarity and detail are good though some of the more analytical earphones around the price point have an advantage here. Texture levels are quite good as well and the DTX 71 leans towards a slightly dryer, grittier sound compared to the TD-III. The tone of the earphones leans slightly towards darkness though there isn’t a significant lack of upper midrange emphasis. In fact, my two Beyerdynamic IEMs both boast impressive presence and smoothness across the spectrum.
Top end extension is moderate – similar to the Brainwavz M2 and Sunrise Xcape IE but not as impressive as with the RE0. Treble presence is quite good but the DTX 71 definitely holds a bias towards the midrange and low end. The presentation is competent – average soundstage size and good layering mean that the sonic cues are all laid out quite well for a dynamic-driver in the DTX 71’s price range. Part of the reason that the presentation is not a definite strong suit of the earphone is the average dynamics – the Sunrise Xcape IE, for example, is noticeably more adept at conveying softness and delicacy. The Beyer IEMs are both slightly shouty in nature, though by no means to a degree where the dynamics become a distraction.
Value (8.5/10) – The Beyerdynamic DTX 71 iE is a consumer-class earphone from a large Hi-Fi manufacturer. Expectedly, it does very little wrong both when it comes to sound quality and usability. More surprising is that the DTX is priced in accordance with its performance – something I’ve given up on when it comes to mid-level earphones from brands with a full-sized headphone focus. AKG, Grado, and even Sennheiser could learn a thing or two from the DTX 71 iE.
Pros: Lightweight, well-built, easy to live with; sound quality competent all around; less bass than DTX 101
Cons: Mesh carrying pouch is underwhelming; cable noise can be annoying with cable-down fitment